The Cleveland Fan on Facebook

The Cleveland Fan on Twitter
Buckeyes Buckeye Archive Big Ten Recap - Week 12
Written by Dan Wismar

Dan Wismar

It’s all over but The Game for Ohio State. The best team in a weak Big Ten will get one more chance to show it this Saturday against Michigan, and then they’ll go home and watch the postseason on TV with the rest of us, either undefeated or at 11-1. All that matters is the bragging rights in the it’s not a matter of life or’s more important than that. 

If Nebraska can get by Iowa on Friday, nothing that happens Saturday will matter to determine the Legends representative against Wisconsin in the title game...the Cornhuskers will be in. If Iowa pulls off the upset, and Michigan can beat the Buckeyes in Columbus, the Wolverines will punch their ticket to Indy for December 1.

If Michigan State can even their record at 6-6 at Minnesota on Saturday, then six of the seven Legends teams will be bowl eligible, with Iowa the only outsider. In the Leaders, Purdue needs a win over Indiana to get to six victories and join Wisconsin in postseason play. The addition of Maryland and Rutgers to the conference this week (beginning in 2014) does absolutely nothing  to elevate the credibility of the Big Ten as a football power.

To the weekend’s games...




Northwestern 23 - Michigan State 20
MSU NW4The Wildcats finally won a close game they led in the 4th quarter, and the Spartans’ strange  failure to win at home continued. Michigan State (5-6, 2-5) has lost five times in East Lansing this season, including all four of their home Big Ten games. This game was 6-5 Northwestern at the half, and was tied at 13 and 20 in the second half, but Jeff Budzien of the Wildcats kicked a 27-yard field goal with 7:30 to play. From there Northwestern (8-3, 4-3) was able to force four straight incompletions by Spartan QB Andrew Maxwell (22/46, 297 yds, 2 TD, 2 INT) when MSU got the ball one final time with under two minutes to play. The usually run-happy Wildcats were held to 57 yards on the ground, but Trevor Siemian and Kain Coulter combined to throw for 246 yards, and Northwestern finally closed one out. Box Score and Stats


Michigan 42 - Iowa 17
Mich Iowa4The Wolverines lost a running back and gained one in an easy win over Iowa Saturday. Denard Robinson is still nursing an injured elbow, and Devin Gardner has been playing very well at quarterback, so Robinson started at running back, and Michigan (8-3, 6-1) mixed it up on offense with a variety of new looks featuring the talented duo on the field together. Starting tailback Fitz Toussaint went down with a knee injury early in the game though, and is lost for the season. Gardner answered any questions about who will be the Wolves’ 2013 starter by throwing for three TD’s and rushing for three more in Michigan’s third straight win, and sixth in their last seven games. Jeremy Gallon had five catches for 133 yards for the Wolverines. Iowa (4-7, 2-5) hosts Nebraska Friday trying to avoid closing out their miserable season on a six-game losing streak.
Box Score and Stats


Penn State 45 - Indiana 22
PSU IU4Matt McGloin broke Daryll Clark’s single-season passing record with one game to play, and Allen Robinson set a team mark for a season with 73 receptions, as the Nittany Lions breezed past Indiana in State College. The PSU win was marred though, by what appeared to be a serious knee injury to senior linebacker Michael Mauti. Indiana (4-7, 2-5) was led by Cameron Coffman’s 454 yard passing day and Shane Wynn’s 12 receptions. The Hoosier’s problems were on defense, as usual, as Penn State (7-4, 5-2) rolled up 546 total yards. The Lions led by 15 at halftime, but the Hoosiers closed to within six in the 3rd before Penn State poured it on with the last 17 points of the game. The Lions close out their season hosting Wisconsin, in what could be the second best conference game of the day.  Box Score and Stats


Nebraska 38 - Minnesota 14
Neb Minn1Taylor Martinez became the career passing leader for Nebraska (9-2, 6-1) as the Huskers dominated Minnesota, winning for the fifth straight time since their lone conference loss in Columbus. In fact, the only two Nebraska losses of 2012 have come against conference division winners UCLA and OSU. Martinez threw for 308 yards and two touchdowns to Kenny Bell (9 rec, 136 yds, 2 TD), and Ameer Abdullah’s 79 yards rushing put him over 1,000 yards for the season. Starting running back Rex Burkhead could have played had the Huskers been playing a competitive opponent, but Minnesota didn’t qualify, falling behind 38-0 before scoring twice against Cornhusker reserves in the 4th quarter.  A Nebraska win in Iowa City Saturday or a Michigan loss in Columbus puts the Huskers in Indy for the title game. Box Score and Stats


Ohio State 21 - Wisconsin 14  OT

Wisconsin figured out how to stop Braxton Miller’s running game Saturday, but they couldn’t do much against the OSU defense either, and a punt return touchdown by OSU’s Corey Brown and four sacks by John Simon sparked the Buckeyes (11-0, 7-0) to an overtime win in Madison. Ohio State stayed unbeaten when Miller and Carlos Hyde rushed for an overtime touchdown in four plays, and then watched as the defense held the Badgers on four downs on their overtime possession. OSU safety Christian Bryant batted down the 4th down pass attempt of Badger QB Curt Phillips, and Ohio State’s perfect season survived another week. Montee Ball tied the NCAA record for career TD’s with a 2nd quarter touchdown. By default, Wisconsin (7-4, 4-3) has a chance to win the Big Ten title for the third straight year, and they’ll have a chance Saturday against Penn State to see of they are the second or the third best team in the division.  
TCF Game Story - Box Score and Stats


Purdue 20 - Illinois 17
Purdue Ill1Two of the worst teams in the conference squared off in Champaign, and when it was over the Illini remained winless in Big Ten play, and the Boilermakers had their second straight...and their second...Big Ten win. I could detail some of the individual performances in this one, but ...who cares, really? Purdue (5-6, 2-5) somehow retains a chance at bowl eligibility, having beaten only Iowa and Illinois in conference play, with Indiana ahead this week. When their woeful season is over, Purdue can look back wistfully at a 3-point loss to No. 1 Notre Dame as the high point of the campaign. Speaking of woeful, Illinois (2-9, 0-7) will wrap up the season at in-state rival Northwestern trying to avoid a winless Big Ten slate. Who’d have thought fans of the Illini would already be nostalgic for Ron Zook? Box Score and Stats


Big Ten Statistics

Big Ten Standings - Results


This Week’s Games

Friday, 11/23

Nebraska (9-2, 6-1) at Iowa (4-7, 2-5)  -  12:00 PM ET  -  TV: ABC

Saturday, 11/24

Illinois (2-9, 0-7) at Northwestern (8-3, 4-3)  -  12:00 PM ET  -  TV: Big Ten Network

Michigan (8-3, 6-1) at Ohio State (11-0, 7-0)  -  12:00 PM ET  -  TV: ABC

Indiana (4-7, 2-5) at Purdue (5-6, 2-5)  -  12:00 PM ET  -  TV: Big Ten Network

Michigan State (5-6, 2-5) at Minnesota (6-5, 2-5)  -  3:30 PM ET  -  TV: Big Ten Network

Wisconsin (7-4, 4-3) at Penn State (7-4, 5-2)  -  3:30 PM ET  -  TV: ESPN2 / WatchESPN


Big Ten Player of the Week
Mich Iowa6(my picks, not the official B1G selections, though we occasionally agree)

It would be hard to top OSU’s John Simon’s 4 sack performance against Wisconsin, but one Big Ten player arguably did just that last weekend. It was that other Michigan quarterback...

Devin Gardner - QB - Michigan - 18 of 23 passing, 314 yds, 3 TD - 37 yds rushing, 3 rushing TD


Honorable Mention

John Simon - DL - Ohio State
Shane Wynn - WR - Indiana
Taylor Martinez - QB - Nebraska
Allen Robinson - WR - Penn State


Big Ten Play of the Week

No single play in the Big Ten last week was any bigger than Corey Brown’s 68 yard punt return for a touchdown in Ohio State’s 21-14 overtime win over Wisconsin. It looked as if the Montee Ball fumble at the goal line in the final 3 minutes was going to be the crucial play of the game, but the Badgers came right back down the field and scored the tying touchdown anyway, making the big fumble caused by Ryan Shazier and Etienne Sabino somewhat less consequential. Give the POW to the punt broke the ice in a scoreless game, and became the margin of victory. It was well-blocked, and had a couple of smooth open-field moves by the artist formerly known as “Philly”. Watch it here.


on Twitter at @dwismar

Dan’s OSU Links and Resources


The TCF Forums